The Copa America is the best preparation for the World Cup, says Mexico coach Lozano

The Copa America is the best preparation for the World Cup, says Mexico coach Lozano

The Copa America will be Mexico's best preparation for the 2026 World Cup as they will face world-class teams, coach Jaime Lozano said on Friday ahead of their first match against Jamaica.

This year's tournament brings together 10 South American teams and six invited nations from the North and Central America and the Caribbean Confederation (CONCACAF) in the second Copa hosted by the United States.

Mexico will not play in the CONCACAF 2026 World Cup qualifiers as they will host the global tournament with the U.S. and Canada.

"We're looking to face the best opponents in this process, and that's what I like the most," Lozano told a news conference ahead of their Saturday opener in Houston.

"You learn a lot more and you test yourself against the best, you see where you stand and what you have to improve.

"A Copa America is a step down from a World Cup because of the kind of teams we are playing against, who have been world champions many times. We have the best of each Confederation, we are not here to participate, we want to win with good games."

Lozano, who just completed a year in the job, has come under fire for his team's recent performances following a CONCACAF Nations League final loss to bitter rivals United States in March and friendly defeats to Uruguay and Brazil earlier this month.

The Mexican Football Federation last month confirmed Lozano's tenure until the 2026 regardless of the Copa America outcome.

"I prefer to arrive at the World Cup like this rather than coming with all the games won and not having come up against these opponents, which are the ones you come up against in a World Cup," the 45-year-old Mexican manager said.

"I don't get tired of being told whether or not I will remain in the national team or that they'll sack me if I don't win. I know I'm in a chair that matters a lot in the country, but I have to take care of what's on me.

"I try to help my players achieve their goals. When results are good, we will tilt the balance more in our favour."

Mexico also face Ecuador and Venezuela in Group B. REUTERS

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